2021 Mid-Year Update

Life

*UPDATED TO ADD*
I wanted to create a quick addition to the start of this post to say that I am beyond humbled and so appreciative of all your amazingly kind, supporting, encouraging, and loving comments below. You’ve touched my heart in ways that words cannot explain. When I wrote this post, I didn’t expect such a response or outpouring of love. In fact, I was feeling bad about not being as active with my postings lately and just wanted to explain and apologize. You have overwhelmed, encouraged, and inspired me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Here’s to many more years of Inspired by Charm and this beautiful community.

 

Friends, how is 2021 treating you? I can’t believe we are almost halfway through the year. As I grow older, time seems to just go faster and faster. Does anyone else feel this way?

Given that we are at this point in the year, I thought it would be a good time to check in with you, share a little update, talk about the year, and chat about what’s on the horizon.

While there is nothing major happening, I’m always a bit hesitant to share these more “personal” posts. So much has changed in blogging over the past five years or so that posts like this seem almost taboo. However, I’ve felt the tug to write a little update, so here I go.

2021 Mid-Year Update #update #2021 #michaelwurmjr #art #life #story

A QUIET 2021:

If you follow the blog closely you may have noticed that things have slowed down somewhat dramatically after a very busy holiday season. This year’s gas felt really different. I assume it’s the combination of the dumpster fire that was 2020 and just feeling what I’ve determined to be a need to pivot.

“The need to pivot.”

I came across the following thought in a meme and it just hit a nerve of truth for me: “I want you to stop confusing exhaustion with unfulfillment. You aren’t tired, you’re unfulfilled. Give yourself permission to pivot.”

I have been blogging since 2009 and it has been my full-time job since 2013. While lots of changes have happened in that time period, twelve years is still a long time to be doing relatively the “same thing.” Don’t get me wrong, I am beyond thankful for my job and still generally love what I do. I can’t imagine doing anything else, nor do I want to do anything else. I suppose the blogging just feels a bit mundane on occasion.

2021 has just brought on this feeling of being tired/exhausted. This feeling has left me uninspired and unmotivated. At first, I just assumed that my creativity well had just dried up, or that maybe I had lost my talents, or that maybe I was just plain old lost. But what I’m learning is that maybe I’m not tired. Maybe I just need to pivot. I need something to be overly passionate about again.

The behind-the-scenes of blogging has become A LOT. It’s simply not enough to create a project/recipe, photograph it, and then share it. There are dozens of algorithms to keep up with just to be seen. There are dozens of “requirements” that Google puts into place that constantly change. These requirements need to be met, maintained, and constantly adjusted in order to be seen. And don’t get me started on social media. If you’re not outperforming yourself or putting on a grand show with every post, you basically don’t exist. Plus, you also “need to” create an Instagram Story, Timelapse, Pinterest Story, Google Story, IG Reel, and YouTube video about it. Say what!?

I love what I do, but because of all of these external “requirements,” a simple blog post seems like a heavy task rather than a simple joy.

I’m also trying to avoid comparison. As I mentioned above, blogging has changed so much. Many bloggers now have teams of people working for them. They have teams of people … assistants, people that write their posts, photographers, content managers, SEO experts, social media managers, videographers, and the list goes on. (And there’s nothing wrong with that approach. These folks are killing it and I love watching their businesses grow.)

Here at Inspired by Charm, it’s just me for the most part. I do have someone that edits my posts for grammar and spelling, and I have an amazing couple that has been filming videos for my recipe posts. (I’ve been adding those to my blog posts, YouTube Channel, and IGTV.) These people have been such a blessing to my business.

Some days I welcome the excitement and drive to keep moving forward and to become better than I was the day before, but other times I’m just annoyed and frustrated as I didn’t sign up for all of the “extras” that I just mentioned. I don’t want to be the CEO of some online media empire. I don’t want to be a manager of a team of people. I just want to live in my own space while creating, sharing, and inspiring.

It’s interesting too because I’ve noticed that a lot of my favorite bloggers and Instagrammers have talked about the same thing in one way or another. Some have stepped away completely. Others are taking the summer off. Others have made shifts in how or what type of content they are producing. Being aware of these situations has been so comforting. It makes me feel a little less crazy knowing that others are feeling the same way.

And I don’t say all of this to complain. I feel happy. I feel blessed. I feel a sense of purpose in that this is what I should be doing with my life. I suppose it’s just a reminder to be a little kinder to myself, do what I can, and not compare what one person can do to that of what a team of 6 can do.

While I’m generally pretty hard on myself, I’m trying to remind myself that this is just one of those ebbs in life that we all have. Thankfully ebbs don’t last forever. I’ll be chugging along on my flow in no time!

So how do I pivot? That’s my challenge because I haven’t figured that out yet! Ha! To be honest, I think a big part of it is just changing how I see and respond to things. It’s simply about showing up, doing my best every day. meeting the requirements I can, forgetting the rest, and then being at peace with it all. “We can do anything, but we can’t do everything.”

In a nutshell, that’s the long and short of where I’ve been at these days … physically and mentally. I think 2021 is just a year to be a bit quieter. A year to pause and reflect… and that’s okay.

2021 Mid-Year Update #update #2021 #michaelwurmjr #art #life #story

OTHER THINGS I’VE BEEN DOING:

Phew! With that chunk of information out of the way, I thought I would share some of the other things I’ve been up to for the first half of the year.

While this isn’t everything, these are some of the most notable things:

Crate and Barrel Collaboration: If you missed it at the end of last month, I shared a post about my side porch and fire pit area in collaboration with Crate and Barrel. (You can find that HERE if you did miss it.) This has honestly been the highlight of my year. As mentioned above, I’ve been blogging for 12 years and Crate and Barrel has been the one brand I’ve dreamed of working with. I feel so blessed to have had this opportunity.

There’s even a dedicated page to my design and product selections on their website. I didn’t even know that this was going to happen. I was filled with so much excitement and gratitude when they shared the link on their Facebook page.

 

Firepit Landscaping Makeover: The aforementioned collaboration motivated me to tackle another project on my list … a makeover of my backyard fire pit area. I’ve been sharing the progress on my Instagram feed. (There is a saved IG Highlights if you missed it.) The project turned out better than I expected. I love having this little oasis in my own backyard.

I will be sharing more about this on the blog VERY soon. I’m just waiting for a few more plants. Once they arrive and I get them into the ground, I will do a full post about the update.

 

2021 Mid-Year Update #update #2021 #michaelwurmjr #art #life #story

Gardening: This spring I was really busy outside. I planted over 60 perennials plus a few new trees and shrubs. And that’s in addition to the 70+ plants I added to the landscaping around my fire pit.

Gardening is a labor of love. And while the fruits of this labor will take a couple of years to fill out and unfold, I was so happy to make such great progress.

 

My Art Practice: I’ve shared a couple of posts about this on the blog (here and here), but 2021 has been a year where I dove headfirst back into my art practice. It couldn’t have come at a better time as this has been a nice mini pivot for me and something I’ve really been enjoying.

I signed up for three local in-person art courses. One was an introduction to painting which has been completed. Currently, I’m in an oil painting class where the students work on whatever project they choose and the instructor provides guidance. I LOVE the instructor and students, so this has been wonderful. This particular course will end this week and then the following week I will start a new course focusing on painting Pittsburgh landscapes en plein air. Plein air essentially means painting outside. The class will meet every week at a new outdoor location and we’ll paint outside from life. I’m especially excited about this class!

Art has brought me so much joy and peace this year; I really want to dive deeper into it. I have been trying to make art a daily habit. And while I’m not quite there, I have been painting or drawing as much as possible.

2021 Mid-Year Update #update #2021 #michaelwurmjr #art #life #story

WHAT’S AHEAD:

While 2021 has brought a more relaxed blogging and working schedule, I’m not just sitting around in my PJs. I do have some fun projects in the works. I’ll be sharing more about each of these as they come to life, but here’s a little sneak peek.

Retaining Wall: When it fits into my budget, my goal is to tackle one large project each year. Two years ago it was my kitchen makeover, last year it was custom cabinetry for my entryway and living room, and this year it’s a 100 ft. two-tiered retaining wall in my backyard.

This project will happen in September, but I spent a lot of time figuring out the plan and finding the best contractors. Once this project is complete, it will open the doors to allow me to add even more to my backyard including a shed, garden, outdoor oven, etc. I can’t wait!

 

Bedroom Updates: I have two bedrooms in my house that have mostly gone untouched since I moved in. While they don’t require major renovations, I want to give them some sort of style direction. One room will get painted, the other room will receive wallpaper, and both will get new light fixtures and furnishings.

The goal is just to have these spaces feel more complete and intentional.

 

Basement Studio: This might be the project I’m most excited about. I’ve never shared my basement online before. It’s not that it’s all that bad, it’s just an awkward space with bad lighting.

For a while now, I’ve been wanting to turn my basement into a little creative studio. (I’ve been doing my art out of a small section of a bedroom and it just isn’t cutting it.) Well, I’m finally going to do it! I will obviously take you along on the journey (before photos coming soon!) and share my plans and process.

In a nutshell, here’s what needs to be done:
– update lighting
– repair and paint paneling (walls)
– new flooring
– furnish and style
– update doors and windows

While this isn’t a major renovation, there is still a lot to be done. I’m hoping to tackle some of the projects myself, I’m also bringing in some folks to do the projects that are beyond my skill/knowledge level. Thankfully I have some great folks lined up so the project should be underway soon.

With all of these design projects, my current plan is to take my time with them. While I’m anxious to get them completed (especially the basement studio), I’m in no rush.

2021 Mid-Year Update #update #2021 #michaelwurmjr #art #life #story

Art Practice: As I mentioned above, my art practice is currently a big focus for me. My goal is to be able to do one painting each day. As I’ve watched and listened to other artists talk about their evolution and practice. the one thing I heard, again and again, is how important and helpful it was for them to paint every day.

I’m still working on developing my style and trying to figure out what medium and subjects I like best. Once I feel more confident and have a clear direction, I would love to be able to create a collection and offer some work for sale. I’ve been so surprised at how many folks have asked about purchasing some of my art. I would love to make this a reality.

 

More of What You Love About IBC: I also plan to bring you more of what you love. While I’m not going anywhere and updates will continue to be here on the blog and on Instagram, I suspect that things will be slow and quiet for the rest of the summer and things will ramp up around August. But who knows, that could change! I’m trying to let 2021 unfold as it would like. No pressure. I hope you’ll stick with me.

… I think that’s enough for the year, right?

2021 Mid-Year Update #update #2021 #michaelwurmjr #art #life #story

THAT’S A WRAP:

So that was a lot. Haha. I think I should wrap things up here.

While I knew this post would be informative, I didn’t realize how long it would be until my fingers hit the keyboard. I hope that this was insightful, informative, and gave you a little look at how I’ve been spending my days.

If you’ve gotten this far in this post, congratulations, and thank you for sticking with me. Now, this is the point where I’ll ask you what you’d like to see here. And while I always appreciate the typical responses of “more of the same, recipes, keep doing what you’re doing,” etc., I’d really love to know what your soul is craving more of when you come online. What brings you here? Also, when you leave this space, what left you feeling happy and inspired. What improved your day, your home, your life. Let me know in the comments below. Thank you!

Until next time, my friends!

Disclosure: This blog post may contain affiliate links as part of the Amazon Services LLC Associate Programs and other affiliate services. This means that inspiredbycharm.com receives a small commission by linking to Amazon.com and other sites at no cost to the readers.

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Comments

  • Mary P Johnson at

    I am fairly new to your blog and instagram. I have really enjoyed all your content, especially your makeovers of the rooms. I also like your garden make overs. You show the details, how many plants, the names and the places you bought other items. Your get me motivated and out of a rut to try something new. Your projects also feel like they are something that I can afford and are not so over the top that I wouldn’t even try. I would also like to buy some of your paintings if your sell them someday.

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      So happy to have you here, Mary. Thank you so much for all of your kindness.

      xo Michael

      • carla mccarron at

        Just wanted tp say I love your blog! You have inspired me many times!!

    • Mel at

      I just found your blog & IG several months ago. I’ve enjoyed all your posts; decor, recipes, thrift finds, etc…. 2020 was beyond rough, that’s for sure. You’d think all the home projects I started would be finished by now, nope! I’m fortunate to be working a hybrid schedule since March ‘20 and it’s sounding like it will be permanent (fingers crossed). My mental & physical health is better. I’m still unfulfilled by my job, but this new way allows me more time to try to figure out what makes me happy. I’m still a work in progress. 2021 hasn’t been as good as I had hoped (family illness & drama) but I’ve found ways to make my home a safe, cozy, inviting haven. So many things I still want to do and find out what I’m actually good at.
      Whatever you share, I enjoy and gives me hope for brighter and more creative days ahead!

    • Karen at

      Michael – you are my absolute favorite to follow!
      Love your:
      styling tips
      Antiquing
      Updates on your house
      Seasonal decor ideas
      Recipes I will one day find time to make! 😃
      Your kindness, friendliness, humility

      • Susan Lindeman at

        Ditto everything Karen said! I have stopped following many blogs this year – so many just seem repetitive and competitive, everyone just trying to outdo the other. I’m bored with the lack of colors – white, grey and black farmhouse industrial – just doesn’t interest me anymore. I’ve followed you for years and I love your style! Retro, vintage, colorful, great recipes and entertaining, and always cocktails! And congratulations on your wonderful dive into art – love what I’ve seen! I’ll be sticking around as long as you keep blogging 🙂 ♥

  • Lisa at

    All the best in finding that fulfillment that we are all in search of. It’s been a challenging year and half.

    Please don’t feel the need to keep up with these other bloggers. Truthfully I’ve grown tired of the ones that have become huge and have these ‘teams’, they are the ones on IG that I tend to swipe past.

    You’ve a wonderful blog and IG account, I truly enjoy following along. I hope you find some fulfillment and enjoyment in the weeks and months ahead.

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      I so appreciate this, Lisa. Thank you!

      xo Michael

    • SoCalLynn at

      I agree! I still love the blogs and IG accounts that are smaller, less corporate-y. Michael, your blog has been a favorite of mine for years. You are personable and relatable. Your design are inspirational, and your recipes! Some have become family favorites. Just be you!

      • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

        Thank you! Thank you!

        xo Michael

      • Katherine at

        I couldn’t have said it better than both of these comments! It’s become oddly overwhelming to see how some accounts have become such a production. It makes sense, like you said, but being organic and genuinely relatable as a person, not a business, was kind of the whole point – and having a team of people to do the stuff for you is just none of those things. It’s been a strange and gradual feeling to notice from this side, too. It’s an information overload with an unfathomable number of sources competing for attention. I’ve found myself gravitating to blogs like this one, which I have loved since I had 2 Pinterest boards in 2012. The content you make is still great because it is truly still organic and relatable, like this post. It’s a rare find these days. You are doing great! We are all just seeking peace this year. Thanks for letting us in along the way!

      • Laurie shoaf at

        Well said. I feel the same. You are personal, relatable and authentic. Please don’t change in an effort to keep up with other bloggers. I love your art and am thrilled you have rekindled your interest in painting.

    • Colette at

      I agree! I always say you do you! We can’t possibly keep up with all the Joneses of the world. I love all that you do. I love that your finding yourself through forgotten talents. Keep at it!

      • Marijka at

        I NEVER comment ….. but your blog today and these comments above rang true: I love your blog as it is. You provide soooo much. Keep it simple may be a motto more of us need to follow. Your blog is great! Stay true to yourself!

  • Shaunna at

    Love this! I totally feel all of it, and keep trying to stay in this place of pivoting/blinders on. So proud of you for recognizing it & allowing it. 😊

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      That’s the goal, friend! Thank you for your help, support, and encouragement along the way!

      xo Michael

  • Beatriz at

    I’m a long time follower. I’ve always loved all your home decor projects and the big reveals, but I also appreciate you sharing your day-to-day posts. I love seeing your antique finds and how you styled them in your home, I enjoy seeing the beautiful pictures of your fresh flower arrangements, your painting adventures, your garden updates, and really anything that you are passionate about. As exciting and gorgeous as the big reveals are, I always feel inspired by your “quick” posts. I get to see glimpses of the gradual growth of the beautiful home you are creating inside and out. I’m sure being a blogger is hard work and I’m so grateful you choose to share all that you do. Thank you!!

  • Linda at

    I enjoy your posts over other larger accounts because your tips are attainable and realistic, it’s hard to relate to the accounts with massive homes, extravagant decor and gardens that are over the top. Have you considered doing a simple give away each month to the followers that “like” all your posts? I know others do that to keep their posts from being hidden!

  • Marla at

    I love it that your posts are “real,” Michael. Life isn’t perfect even though it looks that Way on many blogs and Instagram. You encourage us to try new things and work towards living our best lives. I am constantly inspired by all your talents and thanks for sharing them with us.

  • Elaine at

    Do and share what makes you happy cause then its shines thru brightly and then we are happy and inspired. Loved are your gardening videos and always A joy to see your fur family.

  • Kristin at

    Michael,

    I’m glad I took the time to click through and read your post. Of course I’m always up for a little more of the personal side of people that I follow on IG. I totally get the frustration with how the media outlets work for those who blog and are on IG. I see the same thing, people who are killing it on IG are doing the biggest and best projects. In my mind it’s all a show. I’m here for people who are real. I feel like the projects you’re attacking in your home are ones that are meant for you. And I love being along for the ride. I love following along with your outdoor renovations, your gardening, and your painting journey! I’m glad to hear that you’re embracing and pivoting and doing what you feel is best for you. And not succumbing to what algorithms, numbers, and the IG world expects. You’ve been doing this an extraordinarily long time! I give all the props to you and others who have been around for well over 10 years. Wishing you peace in the choices you make as you pivot through this year. 😉

  • Deborah P at

    I love the garden posts, especially the process – showing the before, the plans and then in progress before the final completion. Also love your taking us along on your Home Goods and antiquing trips. I’d like to see a trip to Piscarik (sp?) flowers to see how you choose what you buy and then the arrangements you make with them. And definitely the home decor posts. And your paintings. So, pretty much everything. 😊

  • Brenda BM at

    Michael, your posts are the ones I love seeing on the multiple platforms I follow you on. Scrolling
    through and seeing something you made, something you suggest, something totally awe-inspiring you
    come up with on a whim is what makes me smile every time I see them! Thank you for putting into perspective, the notion of “…confusing exhaustion with unfulfillment. You aren’t tired, you’re unfulfilled. Give yourself permission to pivot.” As talentless as I am when it comes to art (I don’t know where my children get it from :D) your recent focus on your art has me thinking it’s something I just might investigate as well! There’ll be my pivot point due to your inspiration! Your projects span a wide variety of interesting and motivational topics so I’m sure I’m not alone amongst your followers and fans who can’t wait to see what your “end-of-year-update” brings – nothing short of amazing!

  • Mary D at

    Hi Michael, I can honestly say, your content is my favorite! I enjoy how authentic and relatable you are! I’ve made quite a few of your recipes with much success. A few of your cookies will certainly be on my son’s Pittsburgh wedding cookie table this fall.
    As an avid flower gardener, really enjoying that subject and my hanging baskets were inspired by yours this year. (Excited for the landscaping project)
    Love your antique hunts and styling tips and actually visit your favorites!
    Looking forward to seeing your new art and hoping someday prints will be available.
    Wishing you success but selfishly hoping things don’t change too much! 🙂

  • Gail at

    Michael your idea of a slow year is more than many of us get accomplished in five years! 😂. I I honestly have been enjoying your short Instagram stories just showing what you are up to that day whether it is gardening, baking, painting, antiquing or making a pretty flower arrangement. I also like some of the inspirational quotes you post and the funny posts on Facebook. Your social media feels “homey”, relatable and vulnerable. It sounds like you are in a season of introspection to understand what truly makes you happy and authentic and that is always a good thing. Your work will always be right for the right people.

  • Nancy Shaw at

    I’m in agreement with those who say “don’t change a thing” and “be true to yourself”. You make things so interesting—a little antique here, an amazing recipe there, ideas for our homes, and voila our homes now have a “touch of class” like yours. Your blog is inviting. You’ve become a friend, an inspiration. The things you share are attainable and within reach. And those cats, I love watching them and how they’ve become a part of your family and your home. Too many times businesses and restaurants expand and loss what made them successful. We like you just the way you are and have been!❤️❤️❤️

  • Muriel at

    Love your blog. I appreciate the personal, homey feel it has, and you being you! I always enjoy your posts about thrifting and the ways you style accessories in your home. I will be excited to see what you do with your bedrooms, and have enjoyed seeing what you are painting. You are very talented in many ways!

  • Amy at

    I loved reading your update, and I can completely relate! Your blogs and your work are always a joy to read and watch. I think you’re incredibly talented, my friend!

    Enjoy your summer! Lots of exciting things to come!

  • Amy K at

    I’ve been following you for a number of years now and you are still in my top 3 accounts to follow. Posts like this one make you real. It’s the fact that you are so genuine that makes me want to see what you’re up to every single day. Knowing that what you present in these squares is attainable for me keeps me interested. The projects you have planned sound wonderful and I can’t wait to see what you do next. But honestly if your post for the day says “I’m pooped and just want to snuggle with my cats”. I’ll be totally happy cuz that’s real life my friend. I’ll be over here doin the same.

  • Dawn Crader at

    Michael I do love what you share. Your paint has been fun to watch as well as all of your outdoor projects. I love when you share recipes and I appreciate how light hearted your posts leave me feeling. Thanks for sharing!

  • Vickie White at

    I enjoy your blog and Instagram! I can hardly wait until you are ready to part with some of those beautiful paintings!! I hope I am lucky enough to purchase one! Thank you for such beautiful content!

  • Vv at

    Thank you for sharing with us. We appreciate your honesty. I enjoy and look forward to receiving your blog. Your design ideas and recipes are terrific.
    Whatever you decide we are with you 100%. Michael, you have to remember you need to look out for yourself.
    Keep well in these unprecedented times
    V

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      So true! Thank you so much!

      xo Michael

  • Bridget Weed at

    You’re stuck with us! We’re not going anywhere!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      This makes me happy to hear. Thank you!

      xo Michael

  • Julie King at

    I love your blog! I don’t even know how it first showed up in my inbox but I’m so grateful! And now I want a print of the beach ball painting because it’s so happy! Thank you for what you do and for being yourself in all of it.

    ~Julie

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      I’m glad you found your way here, Julie! Thank you!

      xo Michael

  • Kathy Lust at

    Michael, I think your idea of a pivot point in your life is absolutely a perfect way to accept life as it is. I’ve had to pivot many, many times in my 72 years….and that’s what keeps me going! Your blog is one of my top favorites. Your ideas and descriptions are easy to follow and although I don’t know you personally, I see you as a very genuine person and that’s one of the things I like about you. Keep up the good work (it’s obvious something you enjoy) and good luck in your life pivot. I absolutely LOVE the paintings you have shared. I, too, would be interested in purchasing some of them when you are ready. I am really looking forward to your garden renovation and the retaining wall, as I am a retired landscape architect. It’s so fun to follow you!

  • Beth at

    Oh, I’m not going anywhere! One thing I’d like you to hit on is your “studio”. I’m in the midst of creating my space, or you could call it my “self-love spot”. I do a number of crafts including paint. I’m an eclectic kind of girl and the space I’m looking to use is what some people would call a bonus room. It has 3 windows looking over the lake I live on. My problem is definitely the “eclectic” thing but also a sense of being overwhelmed. I want a lot of things in a not so big room. So, when you get ready to work on yours (not the basics) but organizing and putting what where, I would love to follow you more closely. My budget is not real big either!!!

  • mary at

    Your blog always makes me want to be your neighbor and go antiquing and plant shopping with you.

    • Dawn at

      I feel the same way!! What a wonderful neighbor Michael would be!!

  • Lorraine Boyle at

    I love following you just the way you are! You truly inspire me and are so real and honest. Even though you are much more talented than I am, I have tried many of your projects, recipes and styling tips.I am wowed by your artistic talents, especially your painting! I love when you share your antique hunts with your mom and aspire to have ribbon cupboard just like yours. Thank you for being real and connecting with us with kindness, honesty, and creativity. XO

  • Freda Carroll at

    Love your Blog! Look forward to reading each post. Use many of your recipes and pass on to my daughter. She liked them so much that she also subscribe to your blog also. You have wonderful style and are very creative. I have loved everything you have done to your home with all the updating I have followed you for about 11 years and hopefully will continue to get inspired by all your creativity

  • Deb D at

    You have talent with your artwork! I know what I like when I see it, when it comes to art. And just the three examples you shared above really struck a note with me. Are you selling them? My fav is the beach ball in the pool, then the mountain landscape, then the flora scene. I would literally buy the originals of two of the three. I’m hoping that artwork will be a strong pivot for you!

  • Jeannie Rodriguez at

    Thank you so much for sharing all of this – I copied the quote you shared and sent it to my husband 🙂 we’ve both been feeling it lately!

    “…stop confusing exhaustion with unfulfillment. You aren’t tired, you’re unfulfilled. Give yourself permission to pivot.”

    I love your design posts and your recipe posts.

  • Carol Rodda at

    I found your blog and IG through Thriftydecorchick this past year. I think your creative ideas have been delightful. And I’ve tried some of your recipes. I love the way you style your home and have found your posts inspiring. So I’d enjoy seeing your future projects unfold. You really have amazing talent. Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing it with the world. You are truly one of a kind…the really good kind!😊

  • Nancy at

    Michael,
    I love your blog! Please continue with what you have been doing. Your paintings are awesome, especially the one with the flowers and lemons,

  • Catherine Burnett at

    Excellent catch up! I’m a rather new reader, but you are one of my staples now. I love your style and your cadence. Let the big guys have it- what you share and do is what we readers like and want to see. I’ve already bought a few things you’ve shared and have loved them!
    Seeing how you research and bring a project to fruition would be great to see more of. Not everyone naturally has vision. Seeing someone who does break down the steps would be really neat and not something I see a lot of in blogs/IG.
    Thanks for bringing us up to speed!

  • Deb Christenson at

    Dear Micheal,
    Thank you for your honesty and you vulnerability! I so appreciate it–and YOU!
    After 40+ years of HS teaching, your words really resonate with me! This year of Zoom teaching made me question my effectiveness, which is something I take pride in. But my students and their parents were SO appreciative of my efforts, that the end of the school year finds me rejuvenated and ready for a summer that will fill my empty tank. I hope that your readers–like me–will fill you up too!
    Fill up, and know that you matter!!

  • Cheryl at

    Michael,
    I am always inspired by your creativity…in whatever format you share..food, gardening, decorating, anything! Keep on being your true self and keep sharing with all of us who are enjoying the evolution of your wirk.

  • Linda A at

    This 70 yr old is not going anywhere! Your journey has always been interesting and so enjoyable. Keep on exploring your talents and we’ll come along with you. I have learned so much from following you. YOU are a JOY in today’s online jungle. Thank you!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      You are a gem! Thank you so much, Linda!

      xo Michael

  • Sharon Good at

    Been with you for a long time. One suggestion. CHANGE your photo.

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Thanks for being a long time reader! May I ask why you think my photo needs changed? Just curious.

      xo Michael

  • susan at

    Such a refreshing insight into the world of blogging. I’m overwhelmed just reading about it! I’ve always wondered how they get done what they do! Take all the time you need to to do what makes you happy and pivot! You do an amazing job covering all that you do. AND OMG! That painting of the ball in the pool! Love, love, love it!!!!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Yes, Susan. Blogging has changed so much in recent years. Some has been for the good, but it certainly is a lot some days. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I appreciate it!

      xo Michael

  • Nancy at

    I have loved you and your blog since I first discovered it years ago! I can imagine internet changes and blogging demands have gotten hard to keep up with. Honestly, I really miss what blogs were like when I first discovered them over ten years ago. They were much less corporate, commercial, etc and more personal with affordable DIY decorating which I loved and miss. I’m happy for all the successes of the bloggers, but I do miss the original blogging days.
    Whatever you decide it has to be right for you, but I will continue to follow and support you as you continue this amazing life journey. “Inspired By Charm” is a favorite blog of mine. Your creativity is inspirational and I look forward to what your future blogging holds. Enjoy your summer!

  • Jillian at

    Thank you for sharing your life at this point. It is always helpful to hear a real and personal account of what another person is experiencing. I always enjoy your blog and your home. I have been reading blogs of various kinds for many years. I don’t really care for the big productions some of them are becoming. Also, while I understand the need for some ads and associations, some blogs are hard sell sites and all about the money and sales. These I do not read. You accomplish so much I am amazed really. You are adorable and would like a grandson just like you.

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Well this just made my day. Thank you so much, Jillian!

      xo Michael

  • Linda Harris at

    Michael you are so genuine and refreshing. I look forward to reading your blog and instagram posts. And you have so many gifts. Thank you for sharing your talents with us and little bits of your life too.

  • Kathy D at

    Thank you for this update, Michael. I wish you the very best in whatever direction you decide to go. You are such a lovely person with so much talent and incredible good taste and style….so smart and creative, insightful….so enjoyable to follow. IBC is an beautiful oasis in a sea of blogs. Thank you for sharing, and for all you do to maintain this wonderful site. Well done!!!

  • Faith at

    I think what you said in the post about creating, sharing, and inspiring hit it perfectly. That’s why I enjoy you so much. Those are the things I look for. It’s the value of what you contribute that is so meaningful. You also have such a gentle, peaceful presence. I know some people say the internet isn’t real life but I disagree. It’s real and what is shared on this medium matters. Beauty, goodness, and hope all matter.

  • Debbie at

    I am so glad I found you a couple of years ago and you have led me to some others of your favorites that I follow too. I spend the first part of my waking hours looking through Instagram and look forward to your posts. I will miss seeing you but understand the need to step back and recharge. Good luck with whatever you decide to do and I look forward to seeing you in August as you mentioned. Thank you so much for sharing what you do share. And I, like others, look forward to buying some of your art.

  • Damara at

    Hi Michael! I come to your blog (my favorite) to see what’s up with you, so I especially like personal posts like this. I love everything you share and am definitely sticking around. I’m always happy to see pictures of flowers you arranged like the beautiful ones today, and pictures of your cats!

  • Pam O. at

    I stumbled on your site a couple of years ago and it is one of my top three favorites. I have made several of your recipes and the question from the family is always, “is this a Michael recipe?” They know it’s going to be a good one! Everything you post is always a great read and I have really enjoyed following your paintings and there have been several I would definitely buy. I hope you continue to take us along with your projects and adventures as I am looking forward to the retaining wall project and the holiday decorations. Thanks for keeping it real.

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Awwww. That makes me smile … “Is this a Michael recipe?” Love that!! Thank you so much, Pam!

      xo Michael

  • Cathy at

    You ARE my favorite blogger… such a sweet kind soul you are…never doubt your beauty and worth…. onward and upward dear heart!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Thank you! Thank you!

      xo Michael

  • Mary at

    I love your blog and think it is perfect! It is personal, creative and sooo inspiring! I always look forward to reading your posts. I also love your honesty and can relate to what you are feeling. It is not unusual to go through times when we need to take a little break from our jobs that require so much creativity. It is okay to take some time for yourself! You are very talented and deserve it! I look forward to seeing what inspires you next 🙂

  • Jill at

    I enjoy all the variety that you share. It’s fun to have a front row seat for your creating I’m so sorry it can get so burdensome. We will all be cheering you on no matter what you do or how often!

  • Suzanne at

    I grew up in Bethel Park, PA so when I read your blog I feel like I am connecting with a friend. We now live in So. California and my favorite thing is seeing what you do with your outdoor areas as I miss all the lush green, beautiful flowers and the change of seasons, especially fall. I enjoy trying your recipes (the latest success being your corn dip) Thank you for all you do for us readers but always be sure you take care of yourself first.

  • Sue at

    I’ve really loved the content you’ve shared this year. I enjoy the real, day to day moments you capture in a picture or instastory. Especially the seemingly spontaneous, “filter- free” content. I like when you share pictures of your cats, garden growing, or talk about future planning of your landscaping etc. Your antiquing finds are so inspiring. And I’ve loved watching your painting practice. Your polished posts/ reels are always awesome, but I love the in-the-moment posts too. Especially this year.

  • Cindy at

    I wonder how many people I’ll have to ‘beat up’ to get to the front of the line when purchasing an original Michael Wurm becomes a reality! I’ve got several in mind and would be honored to own any one of them. Your work speaks to me. I think it’s because you’re a talent that creates what I wish I could do myself. Keep enjoying your journey and thanks for inviting us along with you.

  • PJ at

    Michael, this past year was a year of reflection for many. Now that things are returning to “normal,” we consider if we want to return to our earlier routines and activities. I find that I am more selective about the things I do. My gardens bring me great joy, and my early hours in them, pulling weeds, deadheading flowers, picking lettuce, are my meditation time. I have dropped out of following many bloggers, but I stay with you because of your approach of taking things a bit slower. Your “voice” feels genuine to me. As to what content I would like to see more of, I would love to see more about your gardens. Please remember that “comparison is the thief of joy” and continue on your own special path. All best wishes…

  • Amanda at

    Michael, thank you for your beautiful blog. It was honest and very thoughtful. I for one appreciate that others may be experiencing a change in their pace this year as well. I will share that the first recipe I tried of yours was the ornament drink at the holidays a few years ago. It was a hit. Of course I love all of your recipes. I am waiting to try your cinnamon roll bread recipe. You were the one that really introduced me to the bar cart and the fact that I “needed one.” HAHA. I wasn’t aware you were such a wonderful painter. I would love to see this added to your blogs and maybe a few simple tutorials. To be honest I did’t really know what went in to blogging – just knowing the basics now. That is a lot of work – but it definitely sounds like your passion. Congratulations on Crate and Barrel!! Keep on keepin’ on.

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Thank you so much, Amanda. I’m so glad you gained some inspiration here. I will definitely be sharing more about my art practice. It’s been such a wonderful gift. Thanks again!

      xo Michael

  • Lisa at

    Michael,
    You’re my go-to entertainment decorator, and all around home coach! Feeling relevant on social media is ridiculously difficult, but, I always seek you out and so enjoy the calm inspiration that your content provides. Inspired by Charm is exactly that and you do inspire so many. Many blessings as you continue on your own path of happiness and just know I’ll be cheering you on with every step!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      This is so sweet of you, Lisa. Thank you!

      xo Michael

  • Mary Kaiser at

    Your content is fine, I love every thing that you share. What I love the most is your the one doing it, and not a team of people. It comes from your soul, and it shows. That’s why I keep reading and enjoying all your post because it comes from your soul. I am teaching my self water color right now so all of your painting post have me interested. I also love to garden, and when you share yours it lights up my soul! Keep doing as you are we are all here loving what your doing! My mom always use to say “Chin up buttercup”

  • Karen T at

    I’ve always enjoyed your blog, your talent, your recipes and ideas! What I enjoy most is your genuine humanness! Thank you for giving your all. Take time to rest, paint (love your art), and evolve into your pivot! Thank you again. I love your recipes and just recently made your rhubarb quick bread and it was delicious! Stay well! Best regards

  • Kristen Berry at

    It’s all true and I think you are and will do the right thing and what’s best for you! I love your blog and will always be a follower! I think you need a dog! hahahahah he or she will add a lot of excitement to your life and who knows maybe some inspiration! LOL Good Luck moving forward and know we are here for you!

    Kristen Bxo

  • COLETTE RENNIER at

    Michael-Thanks for once again sharing yourself with your followers. It is a brave person that can put it all out there for the entire world to see. I always have appreciated your honesty and sincerity. I follow you in awe, because I have always known it is just ‘you’. You are the person who is so incredibly talented in so many ways that I could not even begin to list everything here. You are truly unique and I think that is what makes your blog/content so very different from anything else you find out there. I’ve always been a big fan, and will watch in amazement as you begin your journey to pivot. Your artwork literally left me speechless. If you start to explore the avenue of selling them, please let me know as I will definitely be lined up to be your first customer. Thank you for being you! Colette P.S. I also love the idea of you getting a dog!

  • Kyleen at

    You’re a dear friend, though we’ve never officially met. I had wanted to get to your bed and breakfast about 10 years ago before we moved. I’m sorry that I was not able. Whatever you do, I throughly enjoy going along for the ride. Relax, my friend. You’ve earned it.

  • Vickie at

    I am fairly new to your blog.I have tried a few of your recipes and love your decorating style.You are very talented.Relax and enjoy your summer. Best wishes

  • Christen Shoemaker at

    Michael! I found you on Instagram when I first joined awhile ago (7ish years maybe?) and your account has always spoken to me and inspired me.
    I am so thankful for your openness in this post. 2020 was a shit show. It’s ok to feel like you do – the need to reflect, be “quieter”, to reassess. I feel it too! This feeling we have seems foreign when we are used to doing so MUCH. But I applaud you for speaking honestly and putting words to how so many people are feeling.
    Now – the future. Umm I’m already in love with your painting and it’s just getting started! Don’t stop! It is obvious that creating art brings you so much joy. I am also intrigued and excited for your landscaping projects because that is where I find my joy – in gardening, plants (indoor and outdoor), and anything outdoors!

    In closing I would just like to say again thank you for your candor. Its 100% ok to “pivot” or pause or slow down – just don’t quit! “The world needs who you were made to be!” Keep shining your light, Michael!

    Much Love, Christen

  • Sharon at

    Michael, I have been spending time with you for over a year and can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed your blog. I enjoy all the variety you have brought to us but especially enjoy your art work. OMG Michael, you must go forward with this talent! I have not seen one thing I would not be proud to hang in my home. So admire such God given talent. Also enjoy your playlists. Haven’t seen a new one lately? Have I missed one? Much Light & Blessings, Sharon

  • Kim Smith at

    Yep, I read all the way to the end. I’m feeling the same itch to pivot and can really relate with your thought of confusing exhaustion with feeling unfulfilled. I think it’s mixed with a big need for rest. Squeezing in time to paint everyday will hopefully help you with some of that for sure, it works wonders for me. I look forward to your basement studio make-over because that’s something I need to do! This was inspiring Sunday morning reading. Thank you Michael!

  • Betsy Cornell at

    Hi Michael, I found you several years ago with your Easter table design. You had a white pitcher filled with pink tulips, and Easter candy in a pink patterned tea cup. I had all of those things, and was able to replicate the design. Every Easter when I put that together, I always think of IBC!! I’ve used your recipes and your design/collection ideas. I’m thrilled to see you painting and pushing yourself in that arena; I would love to have some of those available for purchase. I think everyone (who is honest with him/herself) has felt a similar malaise. . .is this endeavor making me happy? What has become task-driven and not passion-driven. Keep reflecting and creating.

  • Julie at

    Michael, Frank Sinatra sings a song entitled “I’ve Got to Be Me” and honey follow your heart not what your peers are doing. The painted pics shown – did you paint these? If so, they are GORGEOUS!!!!!!!!!!! love the coloring and realism on all of them. You just might have found another way of expressing yourself and how wonderful to be so multi-talented! God has a plan and looks like it could be slowly unfolding – embrace what is happening. Remember we are ALL ‘works in progress!’ ox

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      You are so kind, Julie. Thank you. And yes, the paintings above are all mine. They were such a joy to create and I’m excited to do more.

      xo Michael

  • Sandra at

    Hi Michael,
    I love your blog in fact I miss seeing all of your projects on the blog because I don’t subscribe to Facebook, Instagram, etc….its just too much overload. I must say that I’m about ready to unsubscribe to another person’s popular blog because I feel as if she is all about the marketing and pushing of product more than sharing ideas and stories.
    So I hope you continue and at the pace you are comfortable with because your blog is one of my favorites. Have a wonderful summer!

  • Carol at

    If I haven’t seen your blog in awhile I go and find you – your blog is fresh and yes inspiring – I’m suspicious of the influencers and don’t take them seriously – they just feel plastic to me – yours is authentic. I’ve followed blogs since the beginning and the real ones feel like my friends – each their own personality. Be yourself – it’s good – love your paintings~

  • Maripat Lombard at

    I love your blog. You are very inspiring. You’re art is beautiful.

  • MariaPH at

    Michael, Ditto on all the posts I see here…
    I’m relatively new to your posts. And truly enjoy seeing them hit my email box. So inspiring and beautiful.
    Thank you for sharing. Funny I having been feeling the same way. And keep staying the word pivot over and over again. It’s hard but in order not to be overwhelmed by all the change this last “dumpster year of 2020” as you call it…perfect term, one must constantly assess.
    I think you’ve been on a beautiful path, that brings light and your lovely energy to all.
    Maria

  • Sandy at

    I’ve been following IBC for several years, and some of my “go to” recipes have come from you! In what lately feels like a flooded social media/online space, IBC remains a joyful & bright spot, so THANK YOU for that! I have a spread the word and now several close family/friends also are loyal IBC followers too 🙂 Keep being you! My one wish, is that I believe at one point you mentioned doing “best of” Pittsburgh post, which I’d LOVE to see that! I know you did one about local antique stores, but maybe one as a more comprehensive “best of” Pitt? Keep shining – looking forward to where your next pivot leads!

  • Amy at

    Just keep being you! That in itself sets you apart from the others. I’ve followed you for a couple of years. I love the way you decorate seasonally, (especially when you share where to buy the cute things), the recipes and lately the gardening which is where my life has been heading lately. Forget the pressure of performing and go at your own algorithms because that’s the beauty of working for yourself…. and by God, people like it! 🙂

  • Jan in Portland at

    Michael, hopefully all these comments will show you that we love what you do. I love it all – design, makeover, recipes, art, holidays, vintage – and honest sharing like you just did. As others have said, I have stopped following those who I feel have become a “machine”. I can go to a corporate website and see that. When I see your work on your blog or IG – it is real. Please be you, take care of you and just keep sharing what speaks to you. As someone said earlier – you are stuck with us! (PS: I think a new picture would be nice just to show the you that is evolving. Maybe a picture of you painting!)But – you be you!

  • Sheran Steading at

    Wow. This post truly resonated with me. I have followed you for many years. I love your style, your recipes, your personal glimpses. I have stopped reading some blogs because of the push, push, push. You are on the right path. Stick to it. Your art is delightful and I look forward to seeing more! The past few years have been very hard for me personally. Seeing one of your posts in my inbox is a warm welcome. Thank you. Sheran

  • Rikki at

    You are truly loved here, no matter the content, ie; recipes, plants, kitties, art or THE AMAZING CRATE AND BARREL showcase, just show us YOU, at your own pace. We’ll be here. Pinky promise!🥰

  • Pat at

    I’m relatively new here but wanted to say hello and how much I enjoy your honesty and being real! I will also be following on IG. The huge, flashy accounts are all for show and numbers, IMHO. I appreciate the friendly, honest and real! Your crafts, decor, recipes and now art work is my pivot! 😁 I live in an apt so I don’t have a lot of space or a great outdoors so it’s my pleasure to see your creativity. You do you!

  • Ruth Baumgartner at

    Michael, I sincerely say I enjoy EVERYTHING you do! You are REAL and your posts are genuine. You and Emily Henderson (who has a massive team) are the lone survivors in who I follow blog-wise. Thank you for feeling like my wildly creative friend; one I could call for a killer dip recipe or who shows me the best plants to combine for my hanging baskets. I will think on what I want more of… Frankly I one reason I stopped following so many others cause is because it feels like a business, and I am their “customer.” No thanks.

  • Sandra Rice at

    I CAN NOT WAIT FOR THE BASEMENT STUDIO! I am trying to make my guest bedroom into a studio without “looking” like a studio…so, I look forward to being inspired by you.

    It’s amazing to me, that after 13 years of blogging (I’ve only been following you for two of them), your blog is fresh, inspiring and relevant.

    What I would like to see: Last minute entertaining ideas, decorating on a budget, and MORE of your DIY table decor!

    Keep in mind, you still inspire with charm…and though it’s interesting to know the work and frustrations incurred behind the scenes (I read the entire blog and enjoyed it). What I took away from this blog is that even with all the frustrations and creative blocks…you make your readers feel like it’s easy…THAT is your gift.

  • Sue at

    Based on these comments from other followers your doing a fabulous job of entertaining us. You do you seems to be what we all desire. I’ve followed your for years and your personality, talent and charm keeps bringing us back. We trust you and that means a lot. Can’t wait for the studio.

  • Shawn Herbert at

    I love when you post about your recent vintage finds. I love the videos where you “ take us shopping with you”. Of course, recipes! I use yours all the time. And I am enjoying all the updates and projects to your home outside and in,

  • Julie J at

    Michael, thank you for your honesty. The big “brand” bloggers are not to my taste, they can make anything look glitzy by throwing money at it. But authentic excellence — you — can never be faked. You are the real deal. Never change.
    Now, I want part of your pivot to include you hosting classes or weekends or something: we go antiquing, have an art class, make a meal together (or two or three), tour some local homes. Maybe there is a Pittsburgh home-and-garden center that would host a series of classes with you (the flower farm perhaps?). Just an idea to ruminate on.

  • Julie Bresette at

    I really enjoy these personal posts. I think it is courageous to open yourself up to all of us. I also feel like my life needs to “pivot” and by you sharing your thoughts it is an encouragement for me. I have especially enjoyed your landscaping/gardening posts. I would love to see more of those kinds of posts and Instagram stories. I would also like you to keep updating us on your painting journey. I’m excited to see where your creativity leads you. Thank you for letting all of us tag along!

  • Stefanie T. at

    Hi Michael, I’ve got some complements and ideas!
    I enjoy your work because you love color. (Instead of playing it safe with white and beige like too many do.) Color is the content I’m here for.
    I would like to read more about your creative process. It’s interesting to learn about how artists think.
    You go all out for the holidays, which is so fun to see. I appreciate your coordination of decor, food, and drink. I love the combination of colors you use.
    Sharing your basement renovation is going to be wonderful. I look forward to seeing how your creativity will be expressed in an area that can be so challenging.
    My favorite magazine has a feature that uses the colors in a scenic photo to inspire room decor. Perhaps your artwork could be shown as a starting point for a shelf or mantle arrangement?
    I am also interested in purchasing your art. The paint texture and dimension you are using in your work is great!
    Have a super summer and thank you for your inspirational work!

  • Roxanne at

    Michael, I must at admit my heart sank a little when I first began reading, I thought you were announcing your leaving. You have been such a joy, during the pandemic especially, with your very personal style of writing and gracious comments. I always enjoy hearing about your darling kitties and your mom! I would love to read/see more decorating, accessorizing tips, gardening ideas, antiquing, and summer cocktail recipes. We just finished our fire pit too, so I’ll be looking forward to great food and drink recipes that can be hauled to the pit and more on how you “zchuge” it up. And of course, your marvelous holiday inspirations! When I saw Crate and Barrel had featured you, I thought “that’s MY Michael!” Thank you for the joy and inspiration you always bring.

  • Sue at

    I have been a follower of your blog for a couple of years now and enjoy all of your posts whether about remodeling, recipes, your art or landscaping. Your landscaping, gardening posts are probably my favorite though, because I love to work in my yard also. My house is on a hill and I have turned a portion of one side of my hill into a big flower bed, partly because I think it is pretty and partly because it was really hard to mow. Am excited for your retaining wall project and fire pit area along with all of the perennials you have planted this year. Please continue to share your many talents.

  • Megan at

    WOW! That’s a lot of comments 🙂 You are one of three IG people I actually follow there and with their blog… clearly, I’m not the only fan!

    I follow you because of your simplicity… you never seem frantic, and often feel considerate of your followers… like you don’t want to intrude or bore us, yet we are following you for your simple and beautiful posts/stories which are never an “intrusion”… I like your recipes, your yard, your decorating (especially Christmas)… I enjoy posts about your kitty cats and even though I’m not a horticulturalist, I enjoy your plants and eye for design, and have really loved seeing your art lately.

    I think it is just clear that everything you share is genuine… I can tell you aren’t striving to be an empire, just genuinely want to… share with us parts of your day, things you like, beautiful possibilities along with regular reality (thats probably what I’d encourage you to keep sharing… I need to see the mess, basic, not done parts of your life….I loved seeing under your deck in the back of your house… we all have areas we are waiting to improve!).

    Thanks for all you do and share- I thoroughly enjoy it all!

  • Abbey McDermott at

    Michael,
    First, (re: the first part of the post) – I totally get how you feel. AMEN!!
    Secondly, I love your content. Your pictures are wonderful, your recipes delicious, your decorating ideas creative. Your Christmas trees are absolutely gorgeous!! You are very creative and talented. Wherever your “pivot” takes you, it will be amazing!

  • Dawn at

    I am a big fan of organizing projects and room renovations, so those types of posts always excite me. But, no matter what you share, I ALWAYS feel inspired and encouraged after reading them. I can tell you are kindhearted, engaging and charming, and it’s a true joy to read your posts and stories, and see your beautiful pictures (you are a gifted photographer!). Seasonal decorating is fun to see, as well. Thank you, Michael!

  • Karol Iberg at

    I have never seen so many wonderful comments on any blog. Just keep going. I wish I lived next door to you.

  • Sara N at

    Thanks for sharing and being so open. Love to watch your painting journey! I also really enjoyed your recipes and have made several of them.

  • Ivory at

    Micheal, as much as I enjoy your blog, yet you must always remember that you MUST Thames care of yourself first. With that being said, if you have to take of a summer or a month or two. You do that. Yes, we will miss you, and can not exhale until you return with all your fabulous Diy’s and recipes. Your post brings us joy,. Thank you. Thank you. And thank you Michael

  • Debbie S at

    Hi Michael,
    I just found you about this month. I’ve only got a few of your emails. But, I have loved each one.
    I LOVE, LOVE your painting of the flowers in a vase sitting in a tray with the lemons next to it. I 2ould one day live to be able to buy that one. It is So BEAUTIFUL ❤️.
    I love the DIY projects I find on Pinterest and a couple other sites. So definitely more of those.
    I can’t wait to see the projects you have ready to do to roll out and progress to the end. Those kind of things I like to watch as they happen. I get ideas for my home from them either individually or figuring how to mix some together.
    We just bought a home and it needs a little bit of work, not much, to be done. Or just to add our touch to it. I will be personalizing the kitchen and put up some molding around in the bathroom along with a shelf. I can’t wait. We officially move in at the beginning of next week.
    Are you 9n Pinterest and Bloglovin’ so I can follow you there? Please let me know so I can look you up and follow you
    Thank you again for your inspiration. Take good care of yourself.

  • Linda at

    You think you’ve hit a creative block, but you really haven’t. You’ve been very busy gardening and I enjoy seeing your daily paintings. I always enjoy your styling and room makeovers, but that stuff takes time and I hate the blogs that post basic common sense just for the sake of frequent posting. The Crate and Barrel collaboration was HUGE! And just so you know, the big heavily produced blogs aren’t interesting to me anymore – if it doesn’t look attainable to a normal non-sponsored reader, what’s the point of being that reader? Summer is meant to be slower. When autumn and Christmas roll around, you’ll be there for it!

  • Jenny W at

    I hear you and I feel it to! 2020 & 2021, so far, have me feeling both overwhelmed and underwhelmed at the same time if that is possible. I have also created an art/crafting space in my basement so I will have a dedicated spot to create when the mood hits, with everything I need organized in one spot – game changer! Your final painting of the lemons is inspiring me to paint a summer vignette, so thank you! 🙂

  • Amelia at

    Thank you. That “pivot” was exactly what I needed to hear. That I have permission to change. To try new things and see where it takes me. I just have to be authentic – still be me. During COVID-19 I started those on-line painting tutorials and they were what I needed. Your work is beautiful. Enjoy it.

  • Jen Brandenstein at

    I am encouraged and motivated by your honesty and the evolution of your creativity. When you are a creative, exploring other mediums just kinda happens. You have been pouring your creativity into your blog, home, garden… and now it is just spilling over into other avenues. I’m excited for you.

  • JenW at

    What I’ve always liked about your blog is that you are clearly a person. The brands with a team behind them are clearly brands. I keep coming back because you are a person and many people crave just bit of personal connection. I don’t know you, you don’t know me, but I noticed when you weren’t online and was hoping you were doing well. I think that’s a good thing.

    For the blog, I’d love to see you take us on your art journey. Thank you for sharing your paintings in today’s post, that takes a lot of courage! I find the blog interesting as it’s still a bit what blogs were when they first came around–a glimpse into another human being’s life. Not in a voyeuristic way…but it’s just interested to see what others are doing. Every person has so much to teach others, but you can’t do that without sharing your life with others. Whether that’s online, or at church, or in your community. Just do what you find interesting and the blog followers will be there.

  • Pamela at

    The blogs that have teams are bland and quite similar to each other. They provide products to purchase, but not much more. I’ve followed your site for years, and you keep me more interested. You are phenomenal at Christmas decorating, and I would love to replicate many of your home choices. My family finds all of your recipes to be great and you have an enjoyable online personality. Some of my children are artistic so I’ve enjoyed seeing your painting journey. My garden is constantly evolving so I’m looking forward to seeing your landscaping choices. All in all, your blog remains one of my favorites, keep being you!

  • Karen at

    Best blog! Said it once and say it again! Love it!

  • Rae Ann McCurry at

    You are such a refreshing breath of realness! I started following you way back when Pinterest was first getting big and have enjoyed watching you grow and move throughout the years. Your style is such a great blend of approachable beauty and function. I absolutely love your artwork! I hope you continue with it and maybe even offer some for sale. I very much appreciate that you allow yourself to go slower, take break, and pivot instead of falling into that trap of posting just to post. It seems you have a pretty well established and loyal following who aren’t going to forget about you if you don’t post however often Google thinks you should. I think you are like the Goldilocks of bloggers/influencers – you post just the right amount, not too much to be spammy but not too little either. Instagram is my favorite media but I like to visit your blog for more details and recipes. Thanks for all you do!

  • Noralyn Davis at

    HI Michael,
    I am pretty new following your blog and IBC site, which i am happy to say i found by chance and am thankful. It is perfect timing since i needed a refocusing and help in my home & garden and needed new recipes. so thank you. I look forward to your new adventures. Over here in Ohio, i think I can use the same plants. Have a beautiful day, sit back and bask, reflect, & enjoy your hard work .

  • Sherry Holinaty at

    I love scrolling thru your blog. Your creative ideas are inspiring. I hope that you find your spark very soon.

    Sherry

  • Leslie at

    Michael, I’ve been quietly following you for years and years, and loved this update. Thank you for sharing your heart with us, just a little. I think it is entirely normal, and healthy, to feel the need to pause a bit this year. Last year was about survival and I think we all felt the same urgency to just keep pushing forward and stay super active as a coping mechanism. Heaven knows, I was thankful for your space here, as it provided a wonderful escape for me many times!

    Enjoy this time of quiet, and your art exploration. I can’t wait to see what comes next, and am happy to wait patiently for you to share it!

  • Cheryl at

    You are the ONLY blogger I follow. I found you when looking for a recipe and ended up scrolling through your site for hours. Your posts are so genuine and your style is so AMAZING that I hit the subscribe button and I’m so glad I did. You have given me a ton of inspiration on how to decorate my space. Also, I followed you on Insta and your gardening updates are just so relaxing and interesting, I love them. Thank you so much for doing those! My outdoor space is a wreck so I like to live vicariously through your beautiful space. 😀 I think 2020 made people sit back and reflect on their lives and now 2021 has caused many people to “pivot” and focus on what is important. Just keep doing what makes you happy! You’re awesome!

  • Jill Wendt at

    Beautiful post today. You always talk from your heart, and I enjoy that about you.
    I have deleted so many blog accounts…they are all the same. I am just not interested. Please take time for yourself. Enjoy each new day, and know that you are loved by thousands of people.
    Much love from AZ!

  • Marina at

    Oh Michael! Reading all of these comments, I hope you feel so validated and appreciated. I, too, am a “long-time follower, rarely comment” kind of reader. All of this “stuff” is way over the top and people recognize authenticity and appreciate it as well. The plus side of all of this information dropped in our laps is that we have access to it, the downside is that we have all this information dropped in our laps! Who we choose to read is a reflection of ourselves and our interests at the present moment. Style changes, interest changes, but authenticity always appeals in my opinion. Life wouldn’t be interesting if we didn’t have a few ups and downs. As someone else wrote earlier. “You do you”, and we will happily follow along!

  • Cassandra E at

    Long time reader/subscriber, infrequent commenter. (sorry?)
    I always love your for real. honest posts. You just seem like such a genuine person.
    To be honest, I’ve been put off by the whole blogging world lately. I’m not a blogger, and I certainly don’t need influencers telling me where/what/who. I appreciate being invited in someone’s home and seeing the tiniest most whimsical thing that sparks joy in their life. Lately, if I peruse a blog, it just feels like I may have an epileptic seizure with all the popups, videos and advertising etc…I don’t mind advertising. I’m happy for bloggers to make a living off of what sounds like a more than full time job. It’s just so chaotic lately. It sounds even more chaotic seeing the backside! Just know, I have gone from following about 3 dozen blogs to just yours and a couple others. I’m happy to follow a blogger through life’s ups and downs, and watch their style change. But never lose your most authentic self. You are valuable beyond measure. I’ll look forward to wherever the road takes you. And, I’ve been known to revisit old blog posts for design ideas.

  • Carol at

    It sounds like you are in a good place, Michael. 2020 was very difficult for me. It was difficult to get motivated. Even following my favorite blogs didn’t feel as juicy as before. 2021 has brought a renewed vigor. Guess I pivoted without realizing it!!! I’m delighted that you are continuing your blog. Take good care of you!!!

  • Carol Roy at

    It sounds like you are in a good place, Michael. 2020 was very difficult for me. It was difficult to get motivated. Even following my favorite blogs didn’t feel as juicy as before. 2021 has brought a renewed vigor. Guess I pivoted without realizing it!!! I’m delighted that you are continuing your blog. Take good care of you!!!

  • Marie at

    I feel this post in my soul! Wanting to pivot while being unsure about where or how to pivot is one of the greatest struggles. Love that you’re giving yourself the space and grace to figure it all out. We should all be so kind to ourselves.

    Also- just wanted to say that I’m obsessed with your art. You are beyond talented. I would love, love to see and hear more about your art journey and tips and tricks you pick up along the way. Your en plein air class sounds so fun! I hope you enjoy it and can’t wait to see what comes out of it (if you decide to share of course). As some other comments have mentioned, I would definitely be interested in purchasing your art if you ever decide to “pivot” in that direction 🙂

    Also – just wanted to share that one thing that I’ve been particularly enjoying lately is your cocktails. Getting together with friends in the new normal has been so nice and every time I get together with someone I pick a drink from your site to make for them. Everyone always loves them. So just wanted to say thank you 🙂 You’re a creative master from art to decorating to cocktails and food, and I’m forever grateful for the sparkle and joy you bring to my life.

  • Mary Ann at

    As a long time follower, I would just like more of the same… I enjoy the recipes very much… and I enjoyed watching you style, though I don’t pursue these things myself. I love the gardening entries.

  • Anne at

    Michael-I love your blog. And your art is fabulous! I adore it-it is so fresh and beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  • DIANE QUATTROCIOCCHI at

    You are enough, in any form, without all the extra doodads, although you often give us so many extra doodads!! I love your account and what you bring to the table. I love your honesty. I love your willingness to be vunerable and share your passions. It has ben so much fun watching you paint! I appreciate that you share things with us even if you worry that it is too much, or not enough. You are a pleasure to follow.

  • Lisa at

    What lovely art and spaces you have created! I would love more insight on your mixing/ matching process and how you weed /add and what other options you tried to give a space a different look or feel.

  • Jodi at

    Please don’t change anything you do! I love your blog! And I love your paintings! I’d love to be able to buy themselves Please?!

  • Nancy Burke at

    I simply adore you! What do I love about your blog posts? I feel like I could totally sit down and have a cup of coffee with you- discuss the best potting soil, the right amount of spices for that holiday cocktail, what kind of flooring goes with a particular décor style… without you trying to get me to buy everything you use, but giving me suggestions based on things that have worked for you. Your experiences and insight help me make better decisions for my own home because you’ve been there, done that. The best part about your posts are that they are YOU and not something a bunch of analytics say they need to be. I think the fact that you are being yourself and not trying to re-invent the wheel or put on an over-the-top dog and pony show with each post makes you relatable and I always, always find little tidbits from your blog that I incorporate into my own home & yard. There has not been a single post you’ve shared that I haven’t said “That’s such a great idea! I need to do/try/make that!” and then I actually do/try/make it! In fact, your recent side porch post encouraged me to focus on re-doing my own porch, gave me lots of easy and affordable ideas and helped me turn it into an inviting outdoor space I now love! We even had a bbq with friends over the weekend and everyone raved about the new space! I can say that several of your cocktail recipes were on the menu and were a hit! Your butler pantry and new front entry with built-ins is officially my new #lifegoals. So, do your posts influence me in a positive way and encourage me to make a more comfortable environment in my own home? Absolutely! I really can’t think of a single thing you could do differently, other than sit down and have a cup of coffee with me. 🙂

  • Colleen at

    I would love to purchase your art! It’s beautiful. Nothing wrong with a pivot. Take care of yourself!

  • Debra Lange at

    Michael, I’ve followed you for years, and I love how your blog has evolved, today’s sharing is what I adore about you! You are real, telling it like it is, I think that is why I love you as a dear friend as I share my morning coffee catching up with you daily. I learn so much from you with each season and all it holds in your decorating, cooking and gardening. I’ve taken so much for granted in what goes in to each of your blogs, thank you for the info, I really appreciate it!
    This year I’ve felt as if I was in a void, no social contact, no trips to look forward to, my highlight would be reading your blog where life seemed normal, again thank you!
    I love the paintings you have shared with us, you have amazing talent, I too would love to purchase one from you when you are ready. I can’t wait for the before and after with your downstairs art studio as you create it, and then the retaining wall in your yard and more landscaping!!! Hugs, Debbie

  • Sheree at

    Michael,

    As many have stated previously – I too have followed you for years and this is the first I am writing. I LOVE YOUR ART and would be the first in line to purchase something that you created. You have a gift and it’s just the pivot you have been looking for. Trust your heart, I bet you would be surprised how many of your followers, and others, would be happy to purchase a piece of art from you. You are so talented – let the paint and your hands be your guide.

  • Susan at

    Michael, I am so happy you are still going to post because even if they are fewer and farther between, your blogs are always of the highest quality and are impeccable!! I love the posts about your room renovations and garden spaces the most! Your paintings make my eyes and heart happy! You do you in your own time and own it!! I love your taste in everything!

  • Cheryl at

    I really appreciate your comments. I didn’t realize all that goes into maintaining a blog. I think it OS important for others to know about the hard work it entails.

    Thank you so much,

  • Rachel Smith at

    I understand the fact that you’re overwhelmed trying to keep up with all the algorithms and metrics of social media, Google, etc. I’m a little tired and bored by those people. I enjoy reading blogs by “real” people not “influencers”. I really detest that term, it’s very degrading for the rest of us regular people. I enjoy looking at beautiful homes, yours especially because it’s beautiful and interesting and not over the top decorated. Keep up the great work and enjoy the journey.

  • Mom in Chicago at

    I love everything you blog about. I really love your home makeovers! I’m stunned every time. I wouldn’t mind seeing room makeovers from your other blogger friends. Recipes are always a bonus and I’m a big fan of table scapes…yes!! Thank you for doing everything you do and all that you put into you blogs. Knowledge is powerful, especially when it’s shared. Appreciate you!

  • Ashley Fears at

    Thank you for being brave and baring your soul. I have often found myself looking at Pinterest and thought “this is so unrealistic!” You have just the right amount of design that feels attainable and therefore is much more enjoyable to read and follow your journey. I’ve always wished I could bless the world with a gift like painting, and you obviously can so please keep it up! Looking forward to hearing from you soon!

  • Mandi at

    Oh Michael! You are such a wonderful and vibrant person!! We all appreciate your honesty as you share with us! I love all your post; but definitely am interested in more decorating posts! I love your unique style! Please give us more! I’m excited to see what you will do with the bedrooms!! Enjoy your summer Michael; and keep painting ❤️

  • Sherry M at

    More, more, more! Soul…that’s what your blog has that many others do not. It is extremely obvious that you put your heart and soul in everything you do. I have followed you for quite a long time, and honestly, I still get excited when I see IBC in my inbox because I KNOW I will be inspired, motivated, and be totally engulfed in your presentation of the genuine map of everyday life. Authenticity is what I prefer and crave. Showiness will fizzle. Soulful endeavors shared with your followers will endure and inspire while the latest fad will be just that. Thank you, Michael. Your artistry in every area of your work is a standard of excellence that is beneficial and rewarding for all of us!

  • Monica Gregory at

    Michael, you continue to be one of my absolute favorite content-creators and bloggers. So happy to hear you’re not giving up, but that you’ve brave enough to pivot. Yay you! Thank for always providing exceptional inspiration and motivation for us. And holy cow that beach ball piece is TO DIE FOR! Love, love, love!

  • Valerie at

    Oh my gosh Michael…I just wanted to reach through your post and give you a big hug….I so enjoy your freshness in telling things just so they are. The good and the bad I love the way you decorate with such whimsical items. We have to look after ourselves no matter what. Wherever you choose to go I will definitely follow……take care of you….everything else will fall into place

    • Catol at

      I have enjoyed your blog for years without commenting. Thought you might like to know that my son and his husband made a pair of rainbow wreaths with me just like your Christmas wreath several years ago. We love having them in our homes. You definitely are very talented and inspiring. Thank you.

      • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

        Awww. I love that so much!

        xo Michael

  • Alex Franges at

    You be you, Michael! That’s why we come here. I don’t need a hollow “influencer” to show me how perfect their life is and how imperfect mine is. I like that you inspire without being about the sale, you have your ups and downs, but are mostly up, and it makes me happy to see your smiling face, home in progress, and yummy food.
    Life is change and I look forward to seeing where your road leads you to.

  • Rosie S at

    OMGosh…..yes to all of the comments about the ‘wonderfullness’ that is your blog!!! I think so many of us are feeling the same way, banking on 2021 to be filled with renewed vigor, and it feels slow off the blocks instead! Hang in there…..and keep on being yourself! As an ex-Pittsburger, I love seeing and reading about the area….could ya throw the word ‘yins’ in once in a while…to make us homesick ones grin…..😉. Have a really great day!

  • Donna at

    Ihave loved your blog for a very long time for all the reasons others have mentioned; your creativity, your humility your attainable for me decorating. So informative, so lovely. So personal.
    I will continue to follow you no matter what you pivot to or how much time there is between posts.
    Im glad you havent turned to “corporate “ blogging as others have. Theyve lost the friendly feel of a good friend sharing. Thanks for all you share.

  • Carola Crisp at

    I always look forward to your blog posts and IG posts. They “inspire” me as I try to start a little blog of my own. Thanks for always being “real” with your followers 🙂

  • laura at

    HI MICHAEL,
    I agree with the comments. You are truly loved and admired and respected. Your comments about the social media requirements (pressure) and the teams to build a blog brand.
    What I love most about your blog are the basics: photos, recipes, projects and more of your amazing photos. I hope you find value in a life coach. I think you are just getting started. The beauty of a pivot is you can do it again and again. laura in Colorado

  • Jackie Billing at

    You might enjoy following the Turquoise Iris. She is an awesome artist and personality. And has a very kind soul.

  • Susan Schonauer at

    Michael,
    I am late to see this but I try to visit your blog weekly, but that just has not happened this summer as I am trying to spend more time working on home projects (inspired by you!) , reading and catching up with friends. I am from Pittsburgh and now living about 5 hours away, so I love to get cool updates from your blog. I feel as if I may know where your house is, and what you have done is amazing. And I can always find a good recipe or inspiration from you as well. So I would say you are doing it just right. I think we all try to over think everything. I just saw Jimmy Buffett in concert and was reminded of that. He played just about the same set as when I saw him in college, 35 years ago. And you know what? Everyone loved it, including my 2 college aged kids!

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